Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Modulated Tones

This Band Could Be Your Life: The Modulated Tones
by Brit Charek

Looking at photos of The Modulated Tones, it's hard to believe they weren't taken in Andy Warhol's New York City Factory in the 1960's.

The Modulated Tones are Gina Kantner and Kevin Braun
The band's sound follows suit-- a simple two piece made up of Gina Kantner and Kevin Braun, they describe the genre they fit into as "Psychedelic/Experimental." They use heavy feedback, fuzz, tremolo and drones but still manage to keep it catchy.

The band accredits most of their style to the British shoegaze movement of the 1990's by naming bands like Ride, My Bloody Valentine and the Jesus and Mary Chain as their sole influences. (The sound was known as shoegazing since the audience would often be hypnotized by watching the guitarists stomp on their effects pedals.) 

I made the mistake of asking guitarist Kevin Braun about the effects the band uses and had no idea what he was talking about. They tend to use vintage guitars (a '72 Fender Vibrolux with the original tremolo and a '67 Fender Bassman for their last EP to be specific) and amps, and an array of colorfully named effects pedals such as "sonic boom," "acid fuzz" and "wahzoo wah" to name a few.

Regardless of the process, the product is great. Their sound is rich, fuzzy and catchy.

Oh yeah, and they're new to town. They moved here from New Castle, PA to spread the gospel of psychedelic music.

"We really love all the people in Akron," says Braun, "Here everyone is down to have a good time and great. Everyone has something to say. I haven't had a bad time yet."

I think I can agree with that.

You can listen to The Modulated Tones' latest EP by visiting their Facebook page at or you can welcome them when play their first live show in Akron at Annabell's in Highland Square with As If on October 11. You can also see them play with Ringo Deathstarr of Austin, Texas on October 15 at Now That's Class with Glass Cities and Field Trip-- two more Northeast Ohio bands not to be missed if you dig the psychedelic or shoegaze scene.

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